THE director of Madrid's anti-drug agency, Manuel Molina Muñoz released shocking figures yesterday by announcing that eight percent of mortality rates in Spain are produced by alcohol and tobacco whilst only 0.4 percent of deaths are related to the abuse of illegal drugs.

At a conference on the problem of drug consumption in the work place, organised by the General Workers' Union (UGT), Molina expressed his concern that tobacco, alcohol and drugs are are appealing to an increasingly young user group. The conference was studying a number of factors which appeared to promote the practice in the work place including jobs that involved very long hours; occupations where the rhythm of work was too demanding; demoralising jobs where the worker might be operating in an isolated position; situations where there was a high level of noise stress; and jobs where there was a frequent change of responsibility.

A typical victim of drug abuse, reported the UGT was a young worker aged between 16 and 34 who is economically solvent. Nevertheless, there existed difference between men and women with regard to the conditions which promote the desire to abuse drugs and alcohol. Whilst 77 percent of men were introduced to their first taste by friends - and only one percent by their partners, almost 20 percent of women become acquainted because their partners also indulge. Bernat Soria, central government minister for Health warned of a rise in cocaine consumption among Spain's adult population.


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